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115 found
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  1. The Indeterminacy Problem for Species-as-Individuals.Matthew H. Slater - manuscript
    Of those who believe that biological species are real, the dominant metaphysics of species is that they are individuals. While the arguments for this view have been thoroughly criticized in the last quarter thirty years, comparatively less effort has been spent trying to show that the view is actually false. My primary concern in the present paper is to detail a metaphysical problem for the species-as-individuals thesis that should at least give potential adherents great pause. Second, I will sketch a (...)
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  2. Human Reproductive Cloning: Science, Jewish Law and Metaphysics.Barbara Pfeffer Billauer - forthcoming - ssrn.com.
    Abstract: Under traditional Jewish Law (halacha), assessment of human reproductive cloning (HRC) has been formulated along four lines of inquiry, which I discussed in Part I of this paper. Therein I also analyze five relevant doctrines of Talmudic Law, concluding that under with a risk-benefit analysis HRC fails to fulfill the obligation ‘to be fruitful and multiply’ and should be strictly prohibited. Here, I review of the topic from an exigetical Biblical and Kabbalistic perspective, beginning with exploring comments of the (...)
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  3. Cladism, Monophyly and Natural Kinds.Sandy C. Boucher - forthcoming - Croatian Journal of Philosophy.
    Cladism, today the dominant school of systematics in biology, includes a classification component – the view that classification ought to reflect phylogeny only, such that all and only taxa are monophyletic (i.e. consist of an ancestor and all its descendants) - and a metaphysical component – the view that all and only real groups or kinds of organisms are monophyletic. For the most part these are seen as amounting to much the same thing, but I argue they can and should (...)
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  4. Why Katz is Wrong: A Lab-Created Creature Can Still Have an Ancient Evolutionary History.Douglas Ian Campbell - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy and Environment:1-4.
    Katz denies that organisms created in a lab as part of a de-extinction attempt will be authentic members of the extinct species, on the basis that they will lack the original species’ defining biological and evolutionary history. Against Katz, I note that an evolutionary lineage is conferred on an organism through its inheriting genes from forebears already possessed of such a lineage, and that de-extinction amounts to a delayed, human-assisted reproductive process, in which genes are inherited from forebears long dead. (...)
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  5. Continuing After Species: An Afterword.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - In John S. Wilkins, Igor Pavlinov & Frank Zachos (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. New York: Routledge.
    This afterword to Species and Beyond provides some reflections on species, with special attention to what I think the most significant developments have been in the thinking of biologists and philosophers working on species over the past 25 years, as well as some bad jokes.
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  6. Words, Species, and Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Metaphysics 4 (1):18–31.
    It has been widely argued that words are analogous to species such that words, like species, are natural kinds. In this paper, I consider the metaphysics of word-kinds. After arguing against an essentialist approach, I argue that word-kinds are homeostatic property clusters, in line with the dominant approach to other biological and psychological kinds.
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  7. Kinds and Essences: Rescuing the New Biological Essentialism.Markel Kortabarria - 2020 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    After the rise of Darwin’s theory of evolution it seemed that the much-feared ghost of traditional essentialism had disappeared from biology. However, developments of the last century in analytic metaphysics (Kripke, Putnam, Wiggins) appear to have resurrected the Aristotelian monster in various forms. The aim of this paper is to investigate the revival of the essentialist doctrine as applied to biological species, namely the thesis that organisms belong to a particular natural kind in virtue of possessing certain essential properties, and (...)
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  8. Crossed Tracks: Mesolimulus, Archaeopteryx, and the Nature of Fossils.Leonard Finkelman - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):28.
    Organisms leave a variety of traces in the fossil record. Among these traces, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontologists conventionally recognize a distinction between the remains of an organism’s phenotype and the remains of an organism’s life activities. The same convention recognizes body fossils as biological structures and trace fossils as geological objects. This convention explains some curious practices in the classification, as with the distinction between taxa for trace fossils and for tracemakers. I consider the distinction between “parallel taxonomies,” or parataxonomies, (...)
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  9. Species in the Age of Discordance.Matthew H. Haber - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11 (21).
    Biological lineages move through time, space, and each other. As they do, they diversify, diverge, and grade away from and into one another. One result of this is genealogical discordance; i.e., the lineages of a biological entity may have different histories. We see this on numerous levels, from microbial networks, to holobionts, to population-level lineages. This paper considers how genealogical discordance impacts our study of species. More specifically, I consider this in the context of three framing questions: (1) How, if (...)
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  10. Essence in the Age of Evolution: A New Theory of Natural Kinds.Christopher J. Austin - 2018 - London, UK: Routledge.
    This book offers a novel defence of a highly contested philosophical position: biological natural kind essentialism. This theory is routinely and explicitly rejected for its purported inability to be explicated in the context of contemporary biological science, and its supposed incompatibility with the process and progress of evolution by natural selection. Christopher J. Austin challenges these objections, and in conjunction with contemporary scientific advancements within the field of evolutionary-developmental biology, the book utilises a contemporary neo-Aristotelian metaphysics of "dispositional properties", or (...)
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  11. Biological Classification: A Philosophical Introduction. [REVIEW]Justin Bzovy - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):400-403.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Scots Philosophical Association and the University of St Andrews. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected] A. Richards offers a comprehensive introduction to biological classification: ‘the comparison and grouping of organisms, the naming of these groups, the theoretical basis for grouping, and the philosophical foundations for systems of grouping’. This book functions as an introduction to philosophy for biologists, an introduction to biology for philosophers and an (...)
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  12. De-Extinction and the Conception of Species.Leonard Finkelman - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):32.
    Developments in genetic engineering may soon allow biologists to clone organisms from extinct species. The process, dubbed “de-extinction,” has been publicized as a means to bring extinct species back to life. For theorists and philosophers of biology, the process also suggests a thought experiment for the ongoing “species problem”: given a species concept, would a clone be classified in the extinct species? Previous analyses have answered this question in the context of specific de-extinction technologies or particular species concepts. The thought (...)
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  13. Scientific Realism with Historical Essences: The Case of Species.Marion Godman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3041-3057.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the merits (...)
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  14. Meet the New Mammoth, Same as the Old? Resurrecting the Mammuthus Primigenius.Monika Piotrowska - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):5.
    Media reporters often announce that we are on the verge of bringing back the woolly mammoth, even while there is growing consensus among scientists that resurrecting the mammoth is unlikely. In fact, current “de-extinction” efforts are not designed to bring back a mammoth, but rather adaptations of the mammoth using close relatives. For example, Harvard scientists are working on creating an Asian elephant with the thick coat of a mammoth by merging mammoth and elephant DNA. But how should such creatures (...)
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  15. A Pragmatic Approach to the Possibility of de-Extinction.Matthew H. Slater & Hayley Clatterbuck - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):4.
    A number of influential biologists are currently pursuing efforts to restore previously extinct species. But for decades, philosophers of biology have regarded “de-extinction” as conceptually incoherent. Once a species is gone, it is gone forever. We argue that a range of metaphysical, biological, and ethical grounds for opposing de-extinction are at best inconclusive and that a pragmatic stance that allows for its possibility is more appealing.
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  16. Species: The Evolution of the Idea.John Wilkins - 2018 - Boca Raton: CRC Press.
    Features Covers the philosophical and historical development of the concept of "species" Documents that variation was recognized by pre-Darwinian scholars Includes a section on the debates since the time of the New Synthesis Better suited to non-philosophers Summary Over time the complex idea of "species" has evolved, yet its meaning is far from resolved. This comprehensive work is a fresh look at an idea central to the field of biology by tracing its history from antiquity to today. Species is a (...)
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  17. Individuating Population Lineages: A New Genealogical Criterion.Beckett Sterner - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):683-703.
    Contemporary biology has inherited two key assumptions from the Modern Synthesis about the nature of population lineages: sexual reproduction is the exemplar for how individuals in population lineages inherit traits from their parents, and random mating is the exemplar for reproductive interaction. While these assumptions have been extremely fruitful for a number of fields, such as population genetics and phylogenetics, they are increasingly unviable for studying the full diversity and evolution of life. I introduce the “mixture” account of population lineages (...)
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  18. A Case for Resurrecting Lost Species—Review Essay of Beth Shapiro’s, “How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction”.Douglas Campbell - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (5):747-759.
    The title of Beth Shapiro’s ‘How to Clone a Mammoth’ contains an implicature: it suggests that it is indeed possible to clone a mammoth, to bring extinct species back from the dead. But in fact Shapiro both denies this is possible, and denies there would be good reason to do it even if it were possible. The de-extinct ‘mammoths’ she speaks of are merely ecological proxies for mammoths—elephants re-engineered for cold-tolerance by the addition to their genomes of a few mammoth (...)
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  19. The Individuality Thesis (3 Ways).Matthew Haber - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):913-930.
    I spell out and update the individuality thesis, that species are individuals, and not classes, sets, or kinds. I offer three complementary presentations of this thesis. First, as a way of resolving an inconsistent triad about natural kinds; second, as a phylogenetic systematics theoretical perspective; and, finally, as a novel recursive account of an evolved character. These approaches do different sorts of work, serving different interests. Presenting them together produces a taxonomy of the debates over the thesis, and isolates ways (...)
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  20. The Biological and the Mereological.Matthew H. Haber - 2016 - In Thomas Pradeu & Alexandre Guay (eds.), Individuals Across the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
    Michael Ghiselin and David Hull’s individuality thesis is that biological species are individuals. Philosophers often treat the term “individual” as synonymous with “mereological sum” and characterize it in terms of mereology. It is easy to see how the biological project has been interpreted as a mereological one. This chapter argues that this is a mistake, that biological part/whole relations often violate the axioms of mereology. Conflating these projects confuses the central issues at stake in both, and makes the job of (...)
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  21. Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice.Catherine Kendig (ed.) - 2016 - Routledge.
    This edited volume of 13 new essays aims to turn past discussions of natural kinds on their head. Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of kinds based largely on an unempirical vantage point, it pursues questions of kindedness which take the use of kinds and activities of kinding in practice as significant in the articulation of them as kinds. The book brings philosophical study of current and historical episodes and case studies from various scientific disciplines to bear on natural kinds (...)
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  22. Rethinking Cohesion and Species Individuality.Celso Neto - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (3):01-12.
    According to the species-as-individuals thesis(hereafter S-A-I), species are cohesive entities. Barker and Wilson recently pointed out that the type of cohesion exhibited by species is fundamentally different from that of organisms (paradigmatic individuals), suggesting that species are homeostatic property cluster kinds. In this article, I propose a shift in how to approach cohesion in the context of S-A-I: instead of analyzing the different types of cohesion and questioning whether species have them, I focus on the role played by cohesion in (...)
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  23. Natural Kinds, Species, and Races.Yuichi Amitani - 2015 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 48 (1):35-48.
    In _Realism and Naturalizing Knowledge_ (Keisho Shobo, 2013), Ryo Uehara carefully formulates the homeostatic property cluster theory of natural kinds and expands it by applying this framework to artifacts and knowledge and thereby drawing them in the naturalistic picture of the world. This is a substantial addition to the development of naturalistic philosophy in Japan. In this essay I shall make general comments on his account of natural kinds in the following respects: Uehara's distinction between real and nominal kinds, his (...)
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  24. John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach: The Nature of Classification: Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2014, Pp., Vii + 197, Price £60/$100.00.Catherine Kendig - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):477-479.
    John Wilkins and Malte Ebach respond to the dismissal of classification as something we need not concern ourselves with because it is, as Ernest Rutherford suggested, mere ‘‘stamp collecting.’’ They contend that classification is neither derivative of explanation or of hypothesis-making but is necessarily prior and prerequisite to it. Classification comes first and causal explanations are dependent upon it. As such it is an important (but neglected) area of philosophical study. Wilkins and Ebach reject Norwood Russell Hanson’s thesis that classification (...)
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  25. Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2015 - Erkenntnis (6):1-20.
    The aim of this article is to argue that ontological choices in scientific practice undermine common formulations of the value-free ideal in science. First, I argue that the truth values of scientific statements depend on ontological choices. For example, statements about entities such as species, race, memory, intelligence, depression, or obesity are true or false relative to the choice of a biological, psychological, or medical ontology. Second, I show that ontological choices often depend on non-epistemic values. On the basis of (...)
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  26. Informationally-Connected Property Clusters, and Polymorphism.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):99-117.
    I present and defend a novel version of the homeostatic property cluster account of natural kinds. The core of the proposal is a development of the notion of co-occurrence, central to the HPC account, along information-theoretic lines. The resulting theory retains all the appealing features of the original formulation, while increasing its explanatory power, and formal perspicuity. I showcase the theory by applying it to the problem of reconciling the thesis that biological species are natural kinds with the fact that (...)
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  27. MATTHEW H. SLATER Are Species Real? An Essay on the Metaphysics of Species.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):1029-1033.
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  28. Naming and Contingency: The Type Method of Biological Taxonomy.Joeri Witteveen - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):569-586.
    Biological taxonomists rely on the so-called ‘type method’ to regulate taxonomic nomenclature. For each newfound taxon, they lay down a ‘type specimen’ that carries with it the name of the taxon it belongs to. Even if a taxon’s circumscription is unknown and/or subject to change, it remains a necessary truth that the taxon’s type specimen falls within its boundaries. Philosophers have noted some time ago that this naming practice is in line with the causal theory of reference and its central (...)
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  29. Consilience, Historicity, and the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2014 - In R. Paul Thompson & Denis Walsh (eds.), Evolutionary biology: conceptual, ethical, and religious issues. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 65-86.
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  30. Towards a Multidimensional Metaconception of Species.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - Ratio 27 (2):155-172.
    Species concepts aim to define the species category. Many of these rely on defining species in terms of natural lineages and groupings. A dominant gene-centred metaconception has shaped notions of what constitutes both a natural lineage and a natural grouping. I suggest that relying on this metaconception provides an incomplete understanding of what constitute natural lineages and groupings. If we take seriously the role of epigenetic, behavioural, cultural, and ecological inheritance systems, rather than exclusively genetic inheritance, a broader notion of (...)
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  31. Origin Essentialism in Biology.Makmiller Pedroso - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):60-81.
    Kripke argues for origin essentialism, the view that the same individual cannot have multiple origins. Sober hypothesises that Kripke's origin essentialism applies to biological species. This paper shows that Sober's hypothesis fails. Because Kripke's original argument is invalid, it cannot vindicate Sober's proposal. Salmon offers an influential reformulation of Kripke's argument but his argument fails to extend to species: the notion of an individual's origin is too narrow to apply to species, and Salmon's argument rests on a thought experiment that (...)
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  32. Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories.Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
    This is an extended review of John Dupré's _Processes of Life_, a collection of essays. It clarifies Dupré's concepts of reductionism and anti-reductionism, and critically examines his associated discussions of downward causation, and both the context sensitivity and multiple realization of categories. It reviews his naturalistic monism, and critically distinguishes between his realism about categories and constructivism about classification. Challenges to his process ontology are presented, as are arguments for his pluralism about scientific categories. None of his main conclusions are (...)
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  33. Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups.Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
    We argue for a new conventionalism about many kinds of evolutionary groups, including clades, cohesive units, and populations. This rejects a consensus, which says that given any one of the many legitimate grouping concepts, only objective biological facts determine whether a collection is such a group. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This is a novel pluralism underlying most any one group concept, rather than a (...)
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  34. Object-Dependence.Avram Hiller - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):33-55.
    There has been much work on ontological dependence in recent literature. However, relatively little of it has been dedicated to the ways in which individual physical objects may depend on other distinct, non-overlapping objects. This paper gives several examples of such object-dependence and distinguishes between different types of it. The paper also introduces and refines the notion of an n-tet. N-tets (typically) occur when there are object-dependence relations between n objects. I claim that the identity (or, rather, what I call (...)
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  35. Millikan's Historical Kinds.Mohan Matthen - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley. pp. 135-154.
  36. The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis, by Richard Richards.: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Makmiller Pedroso - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):1180-1182.
  37. Are Species Real?: An Essay on the Metaphysics of Species.Matthew H. Slater - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    What are species? Are they objective features of the world? If so, what sort of features are they? Do everyday intuitions that species are real stand up to philosophical and scientific scrutiny? Two rival accounts of species' reality have dominated the discussion: that species are natural kinds defined by essential properties and that species are individuals. Unfortunately, neither account fully accommodates biological practice. In Are Species Real?, Slater presents a novel approach to this question aimed at accommodating the attractions to (...)
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  38. Millikan and Her Critics.Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.) - 2012 - Wiley.
    Millikan and Her Critics offers a unique critical discussion of Ruth Millikan's highly regarded, influential, and systematic contributions to philosophy of mind and language, philosophy of biology, epistemology, and metaphysics. These newly written contributions present discussion from some of the most important philosophers in the field today and include replies from Millikan herself.
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  39. On the Origin of Species Notions and Their Ethical Limitations.Mark Greene - 2011 - In Tom L. Beauchamp & R. G. Frey (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 577-602.
    I argue that defenders of general duties of species preservation are faced with an impossible task. I distinguish derivative from non-derivative value and argue that the derivative value of species can yield only limited and contingent duties of preservation. There can be no general duty of species preservation unless all species have non-derivative value. Ongoing controversy over the ’species’ notion has not deterred some from claiming settled authority for whatever notion appears most conducive to their favored account of species value. (...)
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  40. SAI Thesis (Biological Species as Individuals).Vladimir Havlik - 2011 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 18:32-49.
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  41. Philosophically Speaking, How Many Species Concepts Are There?John S. Wilkins - 2011 - Zootaxa 2765:58–60.
  42. Specious intrinsicalism.Matthew J. Barker - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (1):73-91.
    Over the last 2,300 years or so, many philosophers have believed that species are individuated by essences that are at least in part intrinsic. Psychologists tell us most folks also believe this view. But most philosophers of biology have abandoned the view, in light of evolutionary conceptions of species. In defiance, Michael Devitt has attempted in this journal to resurrect a version of the view, which he calls Intrinsic Biological Essentialism. I show that his arguments for the resurrection fail, and (...)
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  43. Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species.Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  44. Homeostasis, Higher Taxa, and Monophyly.Richard Boyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):686-701.
    Several authors have argued that higher taxa are monophyletic homeostatic property cluster natural kinds. On the traditional definition of monophyly, this will not work: the emergence of taxon-defining homeostatic property clusters would not always correspond to unique speciation events. An alternative conception of monophyly is developed and advocated, which can accommodate the homeostatic property cluster proposal. Recent work in philosophy of science shows that it meets appropriate standards of objectivity and precision.
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  45. Species.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  46. Darwin’s Solution to the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):405 - 425.
    Biologists and philosophers that debate the existence of the species category fall into two camps. Some believe that the species category does not exist and the term 'species' should be eliminated from biology. Others believe that with new biological insights or the application of philosophical ideas, we can be confident that the species category exists. This paper offers a different approach to the species problem. We should be skeptical of the species category, but not skeptical of the existence of those (...)
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  47. What is a Species? Essences and Generation.John S. Wilkins - 2010 - Theory in Biosciences 129:141-148.
    Arguments against essentialism in biology rely strongly on a claim that modern biology abandoned Aristotle's notion of a species as a class of necessary and sufficient properties. However, neither his theory of essentialism, nor his logical definition of species and genus (eidos and genos) play much of a role in biological research and taxonomy, including his own. The objections to natural kinds thinking by early twentieth century biologists wrestling with the new genetics overlooked the fact that species have typical developmental (...)
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  48. Species as Ranked Taxa.David A. Baum - 2009 - Systematic Biology 58 (1):74-86.
    -/- Because species names play an important role in scientific communication, it is more important that species be understood to be taxa than that they be equated with functional ecological or evolutionary entities. Although most biologists would agree that taxa are composed of organisms that share a unique common history, 2 major challenges remain in developing a species-as-taxa concept. First, grouping: in the face of genealogical discordance at all levels in the taxonomic hierarchy, how can we understand the nature of (...)
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  49. Species and Kinds: A Critique of Rieppel’s “One of a Kind” Account of Species.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2009 - Cladistics 25 (6):660-667.
    A major issue in philosophical debates on the species problem concerns the opposition between two seemingly incompatible views of the metaphysics of species: the view that species are individuals and the view that species are natural kinds. In two recent papers in this journal, Olivier Rieppel suggested that this opposition is much less deep than it seems at first sight. Rieppel used a recently developed philosophical account of natural kindhood, namely Richard Boyd’s “homeostatic property cluster” theory, to argue that every (...)
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  50. Reydon on Species, Individuals and Kinds: A Reply.Olivier Rieppel - 2009 - Cladistics 26 (4):341-343.
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